1920’s Vintage Martin Ukelele

We now travel back in time to the 1920’s.

This is a 1920’s vintage Martin Style 0 Ukelele, given to me as a young lad of nine years old, by an uncle of my Mother.

I did some web searching, and found the site: www.Frets.com had a wonderful page about Martin Ukelele’s.

Source: http://www.frets.com/FRETSPages/History/Martin/MartinUkes/martinukes.html

“In the early 1920s an even simpler mahogany model without any binding, the Style 0, was offered for a mere $10. This model allowed Martin to compete more effectively with the cheaper mail-order ukes offered by companies like Sears and Montgomery Ward. Of all the Martin instruments that turn up in the corner of an attic or the top shelf of Grandma’s closet, an overwhelming majority are Style 0 ukes”.

From the photos you can see that time and poor handling have damaged this little gem severely. The back has extensive long cracks running from the neck side to the back side. The front has one long crack down the bottom edge.

All of these cracks have been repaired with “Scotch-Brand” tape! It will be difficult to remove this tape during restoration should I choose to have it restored. The adhesive would certainly remove grain from the mahogany, but may reveal a different color finish under the tape’s years of sealing.

From the photos you cannot tell anything about the vintage other than a few small clues. The little scrolled nib at the top of the fretboard, where the fretboard meets the body is one clue. Also the purfling detail around the soundhole is Martin’s own from this period.

I shined a flashlight into the soundhole, looking for a serial number stamped into the wood at the neck / body joint like later Martin Guitars have, but I could not locate any information inside the body at all. The Martin Headstock decal as shown in the Frets.com photos has long since been worn away or removed by previous owner(s).

The name Jay B. is scratched into the surface of the finish, on the back of the headstock, and my name ‘Nick’ has been scratched horizontally in the same location at the vertical end of the headstock, between the top two tuners.

No doubt the addition of my name to the instrument would have been done at the tender age of nine, when I would have had no clue as to the damage being done. I have no idea of the current value from it’s original sale price of $10.00, but I imagine not much as there may be thousands of these in people’s attics or closet’s. In any event this one still plays well, despite the fragile condition.

More to come, please leave a comment if you liked this review!

Respectfully, Nicholas

For a great guitar instruction program: http://nickmidi1.jamorama.hop.clickbank.net/

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The 1951 Martin 000-18

Ok, no drooling on my web page….

Here is my father’s, 1951 Martin 00018 acoustic guitar.

You can hear a clip of this guitar recorded digitally here: http://nachase.podbean.com/

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Serial #: 135071

It is now in my possession after my father passed away.

History of this guitar

It was purchased brand-new, by my father in 1951 in order to learn how to play the guitar. After a few lessons, it pretty much sat in the closet for many years, until….

This guitar was discovered by my brother in our Father’s closet around1958. In the original chipboard case, we played this guitar on many vacations to Wyoming and local beaches in LA. It has the ‘Original finish’ which has the expected deep yellowing that the finish exhibits on vintage guitars. It has a raw, bare-wood spot on the lower-front bout, from rubbing it on the sand as we played it.

Original Kluson tuners, nut and saddle, original bridge pins, original endpin and pickguard. It’s a good one, with a wide open voice, and a noticeable amount of that woody dryness you’ll find in a good early 50’s Martin. It’s loud and resonant, and is definitely a flatpicker’s instrument.

Recently we had the guitar serviced at Skip’s Music, Sacramento CA, by a certified luthier. He polished the guitar, cleaned the frets and fingerboard, installed new strings and repaired a somewhat bowed-upward bridge assembly, from years of string tension on old wood. The luthier recommended that no finish be applied to this raw-wood sanded area, as the sound of the guitar would be compromized.

A recent appraisal placed this guitar in the range of $5,000.00 but we will never sell this guitar. It will be handed down to my daughters for safekeeping when I have passed on.

Recording this guitar reveals a powerful tone, crisp highs and mellow lows, with an action that is low enough to permit hours of effortless playing. The upper frets are a little hard to reach, but I don’t venture past fret # 16 very much these days!

A truly exceptional instrument, and one we will treasure for many years to come!

Please leave a comment below, and we can start the conversation about what you liked and did not like about this review! Thank you! Nicholas

For a great guitar instruction program: http://nickmidi1.jamorama.hop.clickbank.net/

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One of my favorite guitars

Hello again!

Here is one of my favorite guitars to travel with. The Epiphone-Gibson Les Paul Pee Wee.

The PEE WEE has one special feature that caused me a bit of grief.

I was traveling to Virginia on business, and wanted to take a guitar along. I purchased it the day before my trip, and planned to play it that evening in my hotel room. I was so mad that it would not stay in tune!

It has a ‘short-scale’, meaning the neck-length is shorter than a standard 24-fret guitar, which translates to intonation issues, ie staying in tune. When I inquired through email with Epiphone technical support, they replied that the guitar needs to be tuned up 3-half steps from E to G.

Problem solved! Now I have an amazing sounding guitar, that I can carry on the plane with me, and using a laptop computer with software I can jam anywhere! It is effortless to play, has perfect action and wide fretwire.

The guitar features a single humbucking style pickup, and a single volume knob as the only control. The guitar sounds awesome when plugged in, and the short scale makes string bending like butter! I have spent hours playing this guitar, and it only improves with age.

The price I paid for it was $110.00 about 3 years ago, and it just floors me how well made and playable this little gem is. I only bought the guitar alone, not the pack as shown in the photo, I had Guitar Rig on my laptop so plenty of amps / speakers / and microphones to choose from there.

Check out the PEE WEE at your local music store. I have never regretted my purchase.

If you liked this review, please comment back? I am new to blogging and critiques are welcome! Play that guitar….

For a great guitar instruction program: http://nickmidi1.jamorama.hop.clickbank.net/

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The Guitar Blog

Hello Fellow Guitarists! I have been playing guitar since the age of 6, and own way too many guitars.

I spent 10 years working in Hollywood as a video engineer and creative consultant in post-production. Later I worked for Sony and Ascent Media as a Senior Broadcast Systems Design Engineer. Now I just blog and am trying that Affiliate Marketing space, as one of my personal friends is highly successful, and is coaching me.

I have collected guitars from the time I could afford to buy them, starting with a Vox ‘stratocaster-styled’ guitar, and a fender vibro-champ amplifier.

Now I have a home studio, (pictured above), with enough gear to record my first album. Around my busy schedule, I plan on writing and recording at least one song per month until I have 12 or 15 in the can.

My musical taste’s began in folk and rock music, gradually adding jazz. I soon realized and appreciated how difficult jazz is to perform!

Some of my favorite guitar players are:

Steve Vai – incredible technical skill, and seems to have endless creativity.

Scott Henderson – wonderful fusion-style guitarist who can rock with the best of them.

Pat Metheny – great tone, wonderful long compositions that allow your mind to just relax and dig his style.

Eric Clapton – what can you say about a legend! When I first heard the live version of ‘Crossroads’ I was completely blown away, what a cool live sound he had in those early years.

Doc Watson – an incredible bluegrass picker and composer. Stratospheric talent was he!

My recording station is pc-based, Pro-Tools LE and various drum machines and guitar effects boxes to suit.

My monitors are Polk Audio, and my amplifier (stereo-only) is a Crown DC-150 that is over 20 years old and still performing like it was new.

As I begin to record some songs I may place a few here for you to listen to and critique… go ahead be honest!

Please do comment below and let me know what you think.

For a great guitar instruction program: http://nickmidi1.jamorama.hop.clickbank.net/

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Click Here!


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